Everyone has their ups and downs in life but sometimes you might find you are going through a difficult issue that you need some help with. Even if it's a problem that you are not sure about, it's better to get some support and advice than to struggle on alone. Hopefully this website will give you some of the information that you might be looking for.

Life can be pretty stressful at times so you need to make sure you look after your overall well-being. Our well-being section deals with a range of issues from school, friends and parents to depression, alcohol and drugs.

Other sections cover the issues of Domestic Abuse, Separation, Parental Drug or Alcohol Problems, Bullying and Death.

If you need more information than you find here, check out the Finding Help section where you'll see names and contact details of useful organisations and websites for young people.

No matter what the question or the problem, there is always someone that can help.

Taking Care of You

It is important to take steps to look after your well-being.
Remember, you are worth looking after.

  • Eat and sleep
    Eating right and getting enough sleep (at least 8/9 hours each night) are two great stress-busters! You'll feel alert and rested and better able to cope with the changes and hiccups life will bring.
  • Be active
    Being physically active, especially outdoors, can give you energy and help make you feel more positive and happy.
    ‘My sports helped mainly, because it took my mind off it... I knew I was good at something else so I just kept doing that.' (Stacy, aged 14)
  • Think positive thoughts
    You can feel good by saying and thinking positive things about yourself.
  • Keep in touch
    Remember how important you are to your friends. Don't cut yourself off. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
  • Focus on you
    Try to separate family problems from your own. These are for your parents to sort out. Instead, focus on the things that help you to deal with your new circumstances. This includes having fun and spending time doing things you enjoy.
  • Set goals
    Think about the things you want in your life and set goals to achieve them.
  • Find a mentor
    Identify an adult who can be a mentor or role model in your life. This might be a family member or someone else you trust and respect.
  • Avoid negative behaviour
    Avoid behaviours that end up making you feel worse or put your well-being and safety at risk. Get the support and help you need to deal with your feelings.
  • Keep safe
    You have the right to be safe all the time. If you don't feel safe, talk to someone you trust or contact one of the support services listed in the Finding Help section.
  • Speak up
    Speak up if there is a problem, for example a conflict between your parents and you feel stuck in the middle. It is upsetting, stressful and not fair on you.
  • Work at family relationships
    Try to keep up your relationships with relatives you care about from both sides of your family. Let your parents know how important this is to you.
  • Ask for help
    Never hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Let others support you along the way. It does make a difference!

This website is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for advice and treatment from a qualified medical professional. See our terms of use.

Barnardos National Office,
Christchurch Square, Dublin 8

Tel: +353 (0) 1 453 0355 / Callsave: 1850 222 300
Fax: +353 (0) 1 453 0300 / Email: info@barnardos.ie